Volume 45, Issue 7 - September  2006

HARD Scapes

HARDnews
Decking and Fencing Make a Mark in Communities

INDUSTRY NEWS
Fence Saves Pastor’s Life
“If it had been a wooden fence—and not a vinyl fence—the fire would have been fueled by the wood and spread. And, it would not have stopped the fire from destroying the pastor’s home,” says Roger Rockhold, resident adjuster in Oklahoma for GuideOne Insurance of West Des Moines, Iowa.

Rockhold was impressed with the fire barrier properties of the vinyl fence that the Sooner Baptist Church in Midwest City, Okla., had installed for the home of its pastor John Coker. 

“A grass fire had started in a neighbor’s yard, but the fence slowed the fire down long enough to allow the fire department to extinguish the flames before spreading into the pastor’s property. Although scorched and partially needing replacement, that vinyl fence saved us from having a major loss and a lot of money,” he adds. 

Rockhold believes vinyl should become the fence material of choice. 

“I love the product,” he states. “The vinyl fences I see are attractive, they require no maintenance and certainly provide added protection from fire. As an insurance adjuster, I would definitely recommend vinyl fencing products to my customers.”

The fence, which measures about 400 linear feet, was extruded by Westech® Building Products in Mount Vernon, Ind., and fabricated by Midland Vinyl Products Inc., a full-service custom design vinyl fabricator with locations in Broken Arrow and Oklahoma City, Okla. 

Steve Kelly, co-chairperson of the church’s property committee, had selected vinyl instead of wood for the pastor’s fence five years ago because he liked how vinyl fences looked and knew they rarely needed maintenance. 

“We spent more for vinyl, but we save a lot of money each year on maintenance,” he says. “There’s no upkeep and you don’t have to worry about painting or staining. You just hose it down to keep it clean.”

He admits he had no idea the six-foot high stockade fence would prove so valuable four years later in stopping the fire and saving the house. 

“We had no rain for about three months at the end of 2005, and there were a lot of fires in the area,” he continues. “Another neighbor saw the smoke and called 911, but the fire department never would have been able to put out the fire in time before it reached the pastor’s home if the fence hadn’t stopped it from spreading.”

“The fence is still standing, but we’re replacing some of the panels because they show burn marks along the bottom,” adds Kelly, who had installed the original fence with the help of three other members of the committee.

According to Bill Zell, sales and marketing manager for Westech Building Products, the severe property damage caused by catastrophes such as fires, and by recent hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, has called greater attention in the fencing industry to the special advantages of vinyl fencing.

Although vinyl fence, railing and deck systems are still in the early stages of growth, Zell compares their market position today to that of vinyl siding and windows 20 years ago, shortly before that market exploded. Since 2000, more than half the new homes built in North America have vinyl siding or windows.

COMPANY NEWS
TTT Moves to New Memphis Facility
Timber Treatment Technologies (TTT), manufacturer of TimberSIL™, the first and only non-toxic treatment for preventing rot, decay, and other common problems in lumber, has moved to 3,900 square feet of office space in the Tournament Trails office park in southeast Memphis, Tenn.

“We’re thrilled to establish a more permanent home for our operational headquarters here in the distribution hub of the United States,” said Bill Beard, managing partner.

The new office, at 8700 Trail Lake Drive West, is currently staffed with approximately 15 Timber Treatment Technologies employees, including the executive management team. This expanded space will allow for increased efficiency as the company launches the national rollout of its TimberSIL product.

SHELTER
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